Pentecost & Chuck E. Cheese

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for Pentecost 2017

Flame Birthday Candles Cake Birthday Cake Fire

There are some things I miss now that my children are older. Less snuggles, fewer moments of awe and wonder, and fewer crazy questions that make me laugh. However, if I’m honest, there some things I do not miss, especially the birthday party. I loved the aspect of celebrating my child’s birth, but most years the party cost too much, involved too much stress, and resulted in a lot of presents that ended up in my garage. Today, nice dinners with family and friends sharing time together have taken the place of the “birthday party” and that is fine with me.

Centuries ago, God moved in such a profound way and sent His Holy Spirit upon us, imparting to the Church gifts that remain with us today. That first Pentecost was a first birthday party of sorts with people gathered to celebrate their common faith in Jesus Christ. Of course, that party had none of the trappings of a child’s event at Chuck E. Cheese, but instead, presented us all with generous gifts that could be used for the glory of God instead of the stuff children discard after a few weeks.

Every year I think it is important to really celebrate what God has given to us, the Church, on the Feast of Pentecost. The generosity of God knows no limits and the Holy Spirit is alive. It’s just that the gifts from this celebration need to be used or the celebration will be hollow. The gifts are free to us even though they are priceless. It would be poor stewardship to toss them in the garage with all those toys that time forgot.

You Have Been Commissioned

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the Feast of the Ascension 2017

the_earth_seen_from_apollo_17

I remember watching part of a college graduation address where the speaker said, “With this degree you are commissioned to go into the world and make a difference.” The imagery conjured up in my mind by the use of the word “commissioned” was pretty powerful. I thought about the commissioning of military officers and the responsibility they took on for the lives of their subordinates but also the lives of those they protected. To me the word meant something very serious and solemn. It meant huge responsibility and expectation.

In the Bible, Jesus gives what we call the Great Commission:

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. (Matt 28:19-20a)

The word commission makes this more than a suggestion or a hope. There is an expectation, a responsibility, and a mandate. Of course, did you wake up this morning thinking about how you would fulfill the Great Commission today?

Sharing the Faith is not just something we should do; it is something we must do. The key is that you don’t need to speak all the time to share. It will be through your life of stewardship that others will be able to see Jesus. By giving of yourself, by always responding to the call, and by surrendering all to God, you will lead others to become disciples, to seek out the sacraments, and to observe His teachings. Yes, responding in full to the Great Commission, great things can happen.